The subtitle of Gypsy Masala
, "a book of dreams", encapsulates Preethi Nair's first novel. In a slimly elegant volume, the author manages to capture the soaring hopes and paralysing fears of human emotion. Resonant with the visceral anticipation of dread and excitement, this book appeals to the spirit of adventure.
Gypsy Masala follows the lives of 3 people--Sheila, Bali and their foster daughter, Evita. Each has their own crippling aspect. British-born Evita is stuck in a job and love life that don't inspire. Sheila, frozen by her experience of being torn from warm, passionate India to grey England. Bali, having lost not only his first child but also the woman he adored and risked everything for.
The catalyst of hope and confidence to change the character's circumstances comes in the form of the African dancer--an apparition that appears accompanied by the thumping, vital music of beating hearts. He is every aspect of being--to follow him is to follow your heart.
This is a book which at times makes you want to run out and follow your dreams, yet in the next chapter makes you realise why you haven't. Preethi Nair combines elements of the surreal and the prosaic as she details the intricate family dynamics and stomach-wrenching losses experienced by those who leap into a new world. Her idea of a gypsy masala--toss your dreams into the pan and savour the result--is a fatalistic yet exhilarating view of the world which leaves a spicy, yet sweet, aftertaste. --Sue Owen
A genuinely moving novel -- Daily Express
A warm hearted tale of survival -- The Bookseller
Moving description packs a powerful punch in this book about family, forgiveness and the power of truth -- THE GUARDIAN
This book will have you praying for a delayed train -- Glamour